|Barked: Thu Aug 15, '13 6:40pm PST |
|I hear about horror stories in Wal-mart from SD handlers all the time involving kids, but it's never happened to us, until Monday. I was picking up my little brother for a camping trip, and we ran into Wal-mart for a fishing license and some random other things. I'd never been in this Wal-mart with a SD before, and it was way more crowded and hectic than the one here ever gets. My brother commented on how many people (mostly kids) were yelling about the dog in the store and I explained to him that I had to deal with that all the time. Not even two minutes later in the produce section, a little girl comes out of nowhere and charges us lunging for Link. I body blocked her and kept moving. A few seconds later I look behind us and the little girl (no parent in sight) is following us screaming DOGGIE, and then she lunges at Link again. I tell her NO and to go back to her parents, and she bursts out crying and screaming but leaves. Not even a minute later she comes running full speed at us AGAIN, so I step in front of Link, put my hand out like a stop sign and tell her STOP, NO PETTING. She stops but is crying and keeps reaching for Link and trying to get past me. I had to get very firm with her, telling her NO over and over again, he's working, you can't touch him, go back to your parents, for what felt like eternity. Finally I see her mom walk around the aisle just smiling at us but she still did NOTHING. I had to keep blocking her kid with my body and almost had to physically grab her to keep her from tackling Link. Finally I yell at her mom to call her daughter, which she does but she doesn't respond for almost a minute. The entire time she is screaming and throwing a tantrum. Finally she walks away and I can hear her screaming and crying on the other side of the aisle. This of course caused a pretty severe panic attack, in the middle of a crowded Wal-mart, but Link did so well and helped me through it. He didn't seem to care about the girl trying to attack him and was only focused on me. The entire time I hear comments from people passing about how mean that lady with the dog is, and a lady right next to me was clutching her toddler to her like I was going to jump at her and beat him. I don't get what's so hard to understand about why you shouldn't just go up and pet a service dog! The time I was being harassed was time that I could not focus on Link and therefore continued to get more and more sick. I couldn't see him responding to my rising anxiety until the girl walked away because I was so worried about protecting him. It got to the point where I was so light-headed from shallow breathing that I almost just sat down on the floor in the middle of the aisle and had Link do DPT. Maybe I should have and then people might have understood how serious the situation was! Anyway, I knew it was only a matter of time before something like this happened but it didn't make it any easier. At least now I know that Link will handle these situations very well so I won't be worrying (as much) about that anymore. I'm going to go pet him now because I'm all anxious again just typing about this
Has anyone else had something like this happen? How did you and your SD handle it?
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